Anthony Bourdain’s Food Market Takes Shape

The chef, author and culinary traveler has confirmed details about his megamarket at Pier 57, at the edge of the meatpacking district.

Comments: 186

  1. No doubt the bustling, exotic but authentic surroundings played a role in his enjoyment of the food from the cart in Ensenada. Would he have had the same experience standing in long lines with other white Manhattanites and tourists to overpay for humble food?

    I'd rather get better food for less at any one of the thousands of restaurants run by immigrants in Queens, not some prefab theme park that seems to be trying way too hard to cover all the cliches.

  2. I think you may well be right. Especially about the theme park feeling.

  3. Prefab theme park? Baloney! Anthony Bourdain is not the kind of guy who would have the slightest interest in spending his precious time and hard-earned money creating a stupid tourist trap.

  4. First, I'm not sure where you read that anything would be prefabricated. Second, the epithet "theme park" suggests people in costumes playing theatrical roles. There is no mention of anything like that, and in fact the article takes pains to describe the difficulty in getting visas for the participants, who practice in their home locales what they'll be doing here. There may be ways to critique this project that are legitimate, but you haven't found any.

  5. Experience has proven that foreign stations of gustatory delight rarely, if ever, achieve the same level of excellence when transplanted to these shores. But this project will obviously appeal to the casual day-tripper and those less concerned or knowledgeable on the real thing.

  6. I wish this would open tomorrow!

  7. Ditto!
    Can't understand the many doubtful even sometimes negative comments; it's a great idea and if anyone can pull it off it Is Tony.
    Food runners is a great idea but you still have to get up to a counter and choose - it works well in other countries - and BTW, one of the best meals I have ever had was at the Singapore market - crabs in a black bean sauce. Incomparable.
    Good luck Tony, good luck.

  8. Cool. I hope Bourdain's vision comes to fruition and isn't marred down the road by a corporate takeover.

  9. I love Mr. Bourdain's shows, but I wonder if this won't turn into another expensive tourist trap. If you live in the city, just get on the 7 train.

  10. Agreed! I imagine this will turn into an experience as about as pleasant as plodding through the gridlock of Eataly. It's much more fun and authentic to go neighborhoods all over the city - where the vendors and hawkers actually live - rather than in one of the priciest neighborhoods in NY.

  11. So, instead on creating hundreds or thousands of jobs, the building should sit empty?

  12. There must be another use for it.

  13. this is about marketing entertainment
    food is not cinema
    life is about side way glances.
    You don't need this market to rotate your point of view
    This helps to create the undertow of own doubts about how we can think for ourselves. Aren't you tired of other mouths?
    once again spectacle wins.
    take the #7 train to Flushing ,walk ,eat, live

  14. Can't wait to see the project develop further. How about some pop-ups eateries to kick off the culinary adventures.

  15. "...Pier 57, at 15th Street, the largest shipping pier on the Hudson."

    Pier 57 is no bigger than the neighboring piers at Chelsea Piers and considerably smaller than Pier 40 (among others on the Hudson).

  16. You must try his hors D'oeuvres, especially crab cakes swamped in toto' sauce

  17. The concept--and the hopes and dreams driving this idea--are good ones. It will be interesting to see if the execution and the reality will work. It's not all under anyone's control, and so it might be better than expected, worth than expected, or a hodge-podge of good, bad, indifferent, etc. He's trying to re-create something organic, but something organic creates itself organically. It's a conundrum. It sounds promising, though. Here's to hoping it is a success in many ways, on many levels, for many people, and not just in terms of dollars.

  18. I hope it stays authentic down to the prices and doesn't turn into another culinary theme park. The key to hawker stands in places like Singapore is that it's the kind of place where cab drivers and office workers sit side-by-side eating cheap, homemade food.

  19. This sounds as though it will be a lot like Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia, but about twice as big. Can't wait!

  20. Reading Terminal is a true city food market with stalls. Walk around and you see locals shopping at Iovines produce and Giunta's meat market. Each stall that sells raw food takes EBT. I've had great conversations with locals and tourists while getting ingredients for meals. Somehow I don't envision the elderly or other fixed income people using food stamps at the most "beautiful butcher" in the world.

  21. I can't wait for this!

  22. Disney land for rich foodies ...

  23. One fears the exclusivity and provenance will drive prices toward those favoring the 1% thus leaving the remainder to the mega marts and local grocers. Still, it's a grand idea...

  24. Plus the homeless will go to town in the adjacent dumpsters.

  25. I'm excited about this idea and am a big fan of Mr. Bourdain but I fear it will become another victim of its own success, packed with throngs of tourists and unwelcoming to locals (think the High Line or Eataly).

  26. I'm from Japan and am sick and tired of totally overpriced Japanese food here in Manhattan. I hope his food market would do something about it.

  27. Don't expect it.

  28. I guess we are entering the next phase of Disney-fied NYC, where different parts of the city become self-contained theme parks. This one must be Epcot.

  29. We'll have to wait 2 years to find out, but the question is: will this place play host to excellenT-but-humble-foods at affordable (under $10) prices (as implied by Bourdain's quote "[People are] as quick to brag about the greatest $3 bowl of laksa as a dinner at Ducasse. That’s what I want to create for New York..."),
    or will it be more high-priced madness with fancy food prices for everything from steaks on down to spring rolls? Hopefully, the former!

  30. The $60 million real estate cost cited is $387 per square foot across 155,000 square feet. That means that volume and probably prices will have to be high to deliver the required profit to developers. And in this case, the profit is dependent on food and product sales. I suspect that food prices will have to go up to deliver the required real estate returns.

  31. I read the article with some interest and have been reading the growing comments since. Some comments, as yours are salient and on point, others…well you gotta love the cynical take from some New Yorkers. Taken together, the positives and negatives, give insight that an astute individual can use to either make adjustments to the vision or scrap the plan. It’ll come down to cost for this to work – outlay of capital invested, overall lease cost and other overhead, for a reasonable return.
    Some people referred to this as a ‘Foodie Theme Park’, others observed he’s trying to make something that in parts of the world have grown organically, and in this case would only be a construct and not organic, filled with readymade food stalls and artisans. Adjust the plan-bring some folks in from around the world, but try and keep the costs low enough so that the Pier acts as an Incubator for locals business and achieve the organic growth that’s missing. Locations like Essex Street and Arthur Avenue Markets, built by NYC during the Depression, provided space and infrastructure at reasonable overhead-the local business people did the rest.
    I’ve seen some young entrepreneurs in the city in recent years that have been rediscovering old standards – pickles (real brine fermented, not in vinegar), cheese, and condiments. We already have the seeds of invention here. It looks like Anthony may have hit upon an idea which only needs adjustment to fit his vision-it could be a good thing if done right.

  32. forget it. Much as I love Tony and his ventures to all corners of wherever, those corners will be pretty, pretty high priced if they plan on paying the rent. There is a place in Chicago, in an old train station similiar, and it's very expensive

  33. What Bourdain is doing is genius; he's incorporating the successful elements of food vendors from other metropolises into New York (and possibly if successful, American) culture. I've always wondered why a place like San Francisco (or New York, I guess) doesn't have Japanese-style noodle / lunch counters...

  34. What will become of Chelaea Market just up the street?

  35. The REAL New Yorkers will go there and leave Epcot North to the tourists.

  36. I know Bourdain will be able to pull it off, and it's a great idea. He says that the market "will be all transparent and authentic,” he said, “not sterile, but chaotic in a good way, with hawkers and vendors and places to eat." Then he asks: "Where in this city can you have that?” Well, the answer is ~ in the boroughs! In Flushing, in Elmhurst, in Bay Ridge, In Flatbush, in Wakefield and Washington Heights and Sunset Park and Woodside and Melrose and Brighton Beach... and on and on. For the price of a Metrocard, you can get to those neighborhoods and, in all likelihood (just a guess...) pay far less than people will pay at Bourdain's! The caveat: These neighborhoods are far from the High Line and some of the most expensive real estate in the world - and perhaps his target market doesn't want to go there. But these neighborhoods are where many of the hawkers and vendors actually ply their trade LIVE.

  37. Arthur Avenue in the Bronx!

  38. Hunnh? I was on Arthur Avenue a couple of years ago. A lot of mediocre Italian food.

  39. Please build a pedestrian bridge over the bike path. Or vise-versa.


  40. I'm sorry, but how is this market going to authentic? Importing vendors from overseas and spending millions of dollars trying to recreate the food culture of other places is the opposite of authentic. It is Disneyland. Authentic is something that springs forth organically. New York can import every food trend in the world without making an original contribution to global cuisine.

  41. Bruce - maybe you are unaware of this - but there are many dozens of neighborhoods throughout the 5 boroughs of NYC with persons of different ethnicities. Indian - Bangledeshi - Chinese - Egyptian - Ethiopian - Irish - Italian - Jamaican - Turkish - Russian - Brazilian - Dominican and on and on. If you explore any of the neighborhoods where each ethnic group lives - you will readily find the authentic food. This project obviously is not meant as a substitute nor compete. In fact I think it may have the opposite effect. It could cause the rich people that live this location or the hordes of tourists to actually leave the rich and/or tourist enclaves of Manhattan and explore the ethnic neighborhoods in search of their food.

  42. Normally I would be aghast at this kind of proposal, but if there is any name in food who has the credibility to make this work it would be Bourdain. I love the idea of getting visas to bring some of the people he has encountered in his decade plus of travelogues over to our shores. The egalitarian ethos about getting exotic cuisine at affordable prices seems to fit his passions, and this mad passion seems more about creating the kind of spaces where different classes and cultures interact rather than an elite tourist trap. He already has more than enough money from his production company, so I suspect he is in this for the right reasons and hope he succeeds.

  43. @James: It certainly will NOT be a place where "different classes and cultures interact" - that idea is of no interest to the elite who populate the "new" New York City.

    And yes, it almost certainly WILL be a tourist trap. Why would we need to import people (using visas!) to provide authentic foreign eats? We already HAVE plenty of people living in NYC who can cook up delicious food as authentic as whatever Bourdain eats while overseas. Therefore, I *am* aghast.

    I think Bourdain's idea that he needs to re-create the melting pot of food choices we ALREADY HAVE is right up there with the idea that NYC needs to be more like Amsterdam or [fill in your favorite foreign city].

  44. I've always enjoyed Mr. Bourdain's view of the food world. I hope his food marketplace is a success. I am a person who appreciates the treasure trove of food offerings, not only in NYC, but also around the world. However, I also hope the marletplace is a much better experience than the ridiculous High-line, which, after experiencing for two tedious blocks, we couldn't wait to flee. Artisinal grasses? Give me a break.

  45. Knowing celebrity chefs, this will be the home of the $20 strawberry, $15 head of lettuce and $10 bunch of carrots. Celerity Chefs are not known for their business savvy and frugalness but their stubbornness and affinity for pricey rare items.

    I enjoy watching Anthony Bourdain and find him entertaining, that is about it. I doubt he is doing this to bring affordable produce and grocery items to the masses.

    What we need is affordable places to get good healthy food in the city. Even the farmers markets prices are high.

  46. It all sounds good until He mentioned "a wet market". I have no desire to see animals cut up or fish gutted. Certainly not where it can be seen while eating. My mother used to bring home whole pig's heads, make blood sausage, buy lungs and make sour dumplings, buy live catfish and gut it herself. I grew up with all that and I am not a fan of seeing the killing and processing. It's pretty revolting. Other than that, best wishes with the project.

  47. Good luck Anthony. I'm sure it will all be "strangely satisfying".

  48. This is a story book romance of a man and his food. For good sake let us eat like kings. Those of course who want to be for a day or two. I can't wait for it to open and see and tast what the rest of the world has to offer!!!!! Who knows, I might even visit a place or two.

  49. I'm not sure the remote location would draw enough foot traffic to make it work, how will people get there? What happens to the bike lane? I think it's a great idea though. Have always enjoyed Anthony's tv shows.

  50. Bourdain cashes in with his own South Street Seaport, an ersatz, fabricated food hall, meant to copy the old markets that have been squeezed out by gentrification. Tony's persona, his "I'm just a cool guy who eats at the coolest underground places" act, has calcified and his hipster schtick has worn thin. Yet he's claiming this Disney food hall is a cool and authentic.

    I got sick of this poser when, on his trip to England with his TV show, he announced to the camera that he wouldn't deign to visit historic sites, as he's too cool for that -- he says he'd put the whole royal family's heads on pikes. He actually said this while visiting their country. This from a man who's gone on tasting tours in countries with dictatorships the world over, countries where you aren't permitted to criticize the head of state or you face arrest. Tony found those spots idyllic and praiseworthy, and had nary a bad word about their government. While visiting Cuba, where political prisoners being tortured, Tony didn't wish to hack any heads off, nor did he remark about the complete lack of freedom to criticize government in Thailand, and opine on a suitable form of death for the leaders who are the perpetrators. A harmless leader dressing up and behaving politely offends his code. His Boho pose is so lame he just shoots his barbs at benign and powerless heads of state; the ones who lock up and torture their citizens are okey dokey with this Bolshevik phony.

  51. I don't think the government will grant a Visa to someone because they make a killer bowl of noodle soup or an awesome sausage...

  52. For decades the govt has granted thousands of visas to Chinese cooks under the skilled workers exemption.

  53. It is a rare viewing of an episode of one of Mr. Bourdain's "foodielogues" that I do not wish-- at least once--that I were there with open mouth and empty stomach. I fervently hope that he will be able to translate the video experience to the live stage.

  54. Nice life.

  55. Isn't this just Smorgasbord meets Chelsea Market? Amazing concept!

  56. I like Mr. Bourdain's TV shows a lot, but this just seems like an idea conjured by a guy--Mr. Bourdain--who doesn't sleep--missing some crucial elements, such as this location hanging off the west edge of Manhattan is probably most accessible to yachts. Why not put fabulous food carts from the world on busy NYC street corners rather than above the Hudson River? I don't see the foot traffic, but my taste buds would be thrilled to have Mr. Bourdain's sleep-deprived idea succeed. Meanwhile, I'm hopping the Greyhound to Ensenada.

  57. Smart food, smart guy

  58. The further flattening of the world and its cultures...why bother traveling any more. No different than all the worlds brands opening flagships in every major city.

  59. Congrats to Anthony and all the best to the investors behind. I'm pretty sure where Anthony's got this idea and could be during his visit to my lovely home country Uruguay, and if you watch from the minute 5:30 it explains his idea in the article but take it to Pier 57:

  60. In a way, this sounds a bit like the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. Very similar concept that has been there for years. Bourdain is just adding some overseas influences. It could be great!

  61. I wish the man no ill will whatsoever, but this has the feel of fin de siècle all over it. Beautiful concept though.

  62. Here today, gone tomorrow.

  63. Just what NYC needs, more "authentic" overpriced branded food and alcohol. Geez

  64. The project description sounds like the antithesis of branded-- if Bourdain can hold to his vision. If it devolves into branded, the project will have failed.

  65. President Trump would bring in the Bourdain Food Bazaar ahead of schedule and for only $6 million.

    Of course, it would have to be renamed TRUMP Food Market.

  66. Sounds like a case of E. coli.

  67. FYI -- that entire area below 14th St. and W is nothing but eateries... The Whitney Museum restos have some interesting odd dishes... (very small but they will give you extra bread) -- (They need to improve their wine selection..the Muscadet was NOT good enough.)

  68. I can't help but feel that this overlooks the Queens Night Market. He's saying he wants it to be similar to a Singapore night market. That's exactly what the Queens Night Market is...methinks Anthony should head out to Jamaica, Queens.

  69. Yup. I was just at Queens International Night Market this past weekend with friends from Borough Park (in Brooklyn!), Astoria and Manhattan, and all agreed it was well worth the trip to Jamaica. We had a great time!

  70. Sounds great. I hope it works out as good as it sounds. Maybe by the time construction is finished I can have another stomach installed. I'd like to sample everything.

  71. Welcome to The Hudson River Shop-Till-You-Drop-Park, adjacent to the Great High-Line-Real-Estate Tour. Whatever happened to just grass and trees and water and views, whatever happened to the public in public amenity? There are a lot of places in this city to buy dumplings. There are far fewer great open spaces.

  72. But this great open place has been empty for years. With a little bit of luck this could be Disneyland for foodies and there are billions of them. Your property values will increase so much, you could afford to live in Brooklyn.

  73. Not to mention just down the block at the pier near 13th Street....
    the multimillion dollar "Entertainment Park" (aka Pier 55) "planned" by Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg.

  74. "whatever happened to the public in public amenity?" All public spaces require maintenance money and since the public isn't willing to be taxed to pay for it, public spaces have to sell themselves to raise the needed funds.

  75. Well I for one hope Tony and his rich developer friends spend the next 2 years scrubbing down the interior of Pier 57. I've been in that Pier - it's pretty awful right now. I think the city just this year settled the last of the lawsuits from the Republican Convention protesters who were "detained" there in 2004. ( re: About one year after the NYCTA vacated the pier, Pier 57 was temporarily utilized as a detention center during the 2004 Republican National Convention, when approximately 1,200 anti-RNC protesters were arrested and sent to a makeshift detention/processing center at Pier 57. Over 1,800 were arrested during the entire event, giving rise to the nickname "Guantanamo on the Hudson" for the temporary facility. Medical activists reportedly treated many people held at Pier 57 for chemical burns, rashes, and infections that resulted from direct, prolonged exposure to the motor oil, asbestos, and other contaminants from its days as a bus garage.)
    Not to mention the issue of people crossing the highway and navigating the bikers, runners and cars turning into the piers. As a neighborhood resident for 20+ years, the additional 5 million annual visitors to the HighLine/Chelsea Market/Whitney Museum circus has seriously impacted the infrastructure and quality of life in West Chelsea. Not to be anti-progress, but none of these developers seem to care beyond lip service about context, sustainability and livability here. Money talks loudest.

  76. Power washing.

    How has the High Lineundermined Chelsea? It would be helpful to hear more commentary on that. As an out-of-towner and real estate professional, I am a tremendous fan of the High Line-- a magnificent expression of urbanism-- but perhaps I am missing something.

  77. Over priced real estate construction has decimated small businesses here - constant construction kills foot traffic but more importantly, many small mom and pop businesses that actually serve the residents - hardware stores, diners, shoe repairs, laundries, barbers and salons have closed and become banks or national chain drug stores because commercial rents have skyrocketed and chains are the only ones who can afford the rents. Huge tourist buses now idle along 9th and 10th Avenue, clogging traffic and disgorging more pollutants. Huge crowds make navigating sidewalks annoying at best, dangerous at worst. Seven hotels within a 5 block radius in a residential neighborhood. 5 million annual visitors in a residential neighborhood of .77 square miles. No new subway lines, bus lines, garbage services, sewers. Big impact.

  78. I agree. The High Line sure is beautifully designed, and kudos for the designers for only utilizing native plant species.

    But essentially, it's just for tourists. Locals only go there very occasionally, and for very short amounts of time. The neighborhood feels soul-less and like just another tourist destination, much like the entire Meat-Packing district now, SoHo, Times Square, Willliamsburg, etc.

  79. Awesome! Once you're established in NY, please open one in Seattle.

  80. And DC.

  81. I think he means well. But this eventually will be no more authentic than the experience you get at Epcot's World Showcase pavilion.

  82. This will work so long as it taken as an almost co-op approach, much like Pike Place in Seattle. Keep the rents low, the diversity high and use a portion of the building for the sheer business of rotating fresh food for people who want to bring it home at fair prices (an actual "market!")

    Unlike Pike Place, please keep out the tourist "art" stalls that sell all sorts of useless stuff. No nightclubs, just funky bars and food spots where pretense is unwelcome and experiences are cool, simple, affordable for all and memorable.

    If Bourdain can't get this right, nobody can. He lives it. Good luck, my man.

  83. This will be nothing but a tourist-friendly, overpriced, sanitized version of a true Asian night market. For the real deal, check out the amazing Queens International Night Market, held each Saturday night in the Summer, through the end of October. I attended for my very first time this past weekend, and it was awesome!

    Of course, it requires a certain adventurous type who's willing to travel to Jamaica, Queens (...Queens of course, now being dubbed the 'new Brooklyn'. lol)

  84. Looking forward to trying the Jamaica Night Market!

  85. Didn't it start out in the 70's as Schaeffer International Night at Eisenhower Park in Hempstead?

  86. we humans are losing the right to push up against life for ourselves.
    we need that tension and it is slowly being taken away.
    We are second hand people living second hand lives off the crumbs of the authorities.
    you don't know freedom until you taste it.
    come upon a lovely noodle shop in Flushing and walk in. China and India are a subway ride away!
    start chewing the world and activate freedoms naturally occurring enzyme.
    walk into your own life
    we are being tamed by all this suggestiveness
    It is becoming insane and paralyzing
    take back your life
    take back New York

  87. I agree with this comment. Queens, including Flushing, rocks. But Bourdain's project sounds great, too. I hope that Bourdain will include some of those terrific restaurateurs/food stand merchants from the outer boroughs in his project.

  88. How exciting! So many of the exciting, mouth watering, culinary experiences portrayed by him on TV may now be possible to experience here in NYC! He'll also be able to attract great food vendors. I love the idea! Does anyone know if there's parking nearby?

  89. Parking? Oh indeed there will be parking nearby. New parking lots will likely be built as well, should this food market indeed take off. Expect parking lot rates to be priced accordingly, for those who can't stomach the subway.

  90. I regret to inform you there is no parking anywhere on the Island of Manhattan.

  91. I know is I love his show, and the big Apple.

  92. Im sorry, but who cares? The man is a nasty arrogant human being. Maybe.

  93. This is a fabulous idea and I can't wait to try it. One of the best food experiences of my life was at an outdoor night market in Singapore. Delicious, authentic. (I was less impressed with the top night market in Hong Kong-- dirty.)

    I agree with those who call for small restaurant/food stand operators from the outer boroughs to be included. I have experienced some of the swoon-worthy ethnic eateries in Queens, run by recent immigrants. Give a leg up to these entrepreneurs, too.

  94. Also excited to learn about the Jamaica Night Market in Queens via the comments to this article. Sounds like a must- try.

  95. One of the prime attractions of street food is the price. I can't imagine being able to maintain street prices with the overhead of a place like this. I doubt Ms. Bandera's overhead costs are going to be as low here as her cart. It will be a different experience. Not necessarily "less than" but certainly different.

  96. The reason hawkers stalls work in so many places, is that the cost of the food includes literally zero real estate and overhead. People preparing the food can live themselves on very small profit margins, so they are focused on quality and turnover. Pier anything in NY is geometrically more expensive than the locations Mr. Bourdain raves about while traveling.

    It'll have to be chaotic to support the fixed costs.

  97. That's true. The $60 million real estate cost cited is $387 per square foot.

    That said, I applaud Mr. Bourdain's vision and look forward to trying this market.

  98. My feelings, precisely. A wonderful concept, but will the price point of the cuisine be low enough for the majority of NYC's populace, or will it be another diversion for the 1%rs? What about the costs of living anywhere in NYC for these vendors? Can they really support themselves? I love the idea, but will it translate from the original locales of the vendors to the Big Apple?

  99. I love good food and love trying new foods from around the world. But, have we yet reached the point of saturation with new restaurants, food courts, street carts and the like? I mean, how many affluent young people are there in this city? There are only 21 meals in a week. What will they do when there are simply too many choices? When their smartphone memories are filled with instagram photos of the latest dish they've conquered?

    And what about the food media military-industrial complex? Do we have enough food writers? Food blogs? Food review sites? Will instagram's servers explode if one more image of pho or samsa or a Korean taco is uploaded? Are there enough food programs on television? Do we need another "celebrity" chef?

    I think not. Soon enough, bankruptcy courts and lawyers will be the only ones still enjoying the variety and quantity of food available on the streets of New York.

  100. Are you really complaining about there being too many options? Do you hear yourself?

  101. I live in Singapore. You know what we do with too many food choices? We keep eating.

  102. I truly do admire Mr. Bourdian's passion for wanting to bring the best of what he has experienced to the city he loves. It goes without question that the costs involved to build something of this magnitude in one of the most hip and expensive parts of this city will be daunting.

    - $60 million is just the build out.
    - Millions more to secure visas and house these already successful food operators.
    - What about sourcing quality ingredients that make the food great back in their home countries?

    Many of these chefs from Singapore, Mexico, Japan, India, etc. already have a good thing going back where they will. They are unlikely to just give up their enterprises back home, so they will likely come here under temporary work visas, train local staff here, have a revenue sharing agreement and visit several times a year to keep the quality of food in check.

    Don't be surprised if you are paying the midway point between Chipotle and a three star restaurant to wait 20 minutes to sit at a communal table. But at least the food will taste good.

  103. So many Debbie Downers. Hey, it's NYC, it won't be Queens cheap. But that doesn't mean it'll be a rip-off.

    Bourdain is about the only guy I could think of to pull this off in a way that will be cool and not a tourist trap. Let's give him a chance before such trombone-effect-worthy declarations.

  104. Anthony Bourdain is the 'Keith Morrison' of food stories. I love his adventures as he tells them. And I am so jealous of people who live in the big Apple who can meander through and enjoy such shops and exotics.

  105. I'm sure it will be well supplied with liquor of all sorts.

  106. Here's hoping!

  107. mr bourdain and i got into a beef in a cooking forum. he suggested it was time to replace the tin foil lining in my hard hat. to his credit, he later took it back. i'll never understand how he could eat that duck cooked in mud in one of his Viet Nam visits. hope they don't serve that in his new venture.

  108. Mr. Bourdain. Fabulous idea. Brilliant. Two recommendations for vendors from India. One, Delhi Darbar, for the best biryani on earth. Please. Don't take no for an answer. No one else comes close. And two, someone who can make street foods like pani puri, bhel puri, ragda patties etc. I will be flying to NYC monthly, if you can do this.

  109. Jeeziss people, can we ratchet down the Hate just a notch? Listen to all this, "I can see the future and I HATE what I can foretell it's going to be!" Yikes. Bourdain is no Donald Trump (!?!), give him a chance already.

  110. I'm no borough-phobe, but besides the time it would take to take a train to Flushing, or Brighton Beach, or Woodside (where I do schlep for the best Thai in the city), there's something about authenticity that I wouldn't miss -- lack of hygiene. To have such variety in one place, and probably a little more within the Board of Health's radar, is worth a few extra bucks for me.

  111. Sounds like a culinary version of "man shops globe"...what happened to that show anyway :)

    Hey Anthony - check out Queens sometime whydontcha!

  112. I don't want to hear a word from anyone who sneers at DisneyWorld because it's a "simulacra of real life," but will gladly go all in on this Manhattan theme park. Not one word.

  113. This is a delightfully, magnanimous and desirable yet arduous undertaking. Something New York CRAVES AND NEEDS! Congratulations to Mr. Bourdain and his partners. They are committing to something truly FANTASTIC! They will however, eventually need -- like all ventures into unknown but imperative longer term feasibility, sustainability -- an economically diverse group of investors (some angel investors, banks, non-profit, private equity, individuals, endowments, creditors and consultants who will all contribute to this collaborative investment. Savvy, business-and-investment-acumen with Bourdain's ambitious spirit will collectively bring forth this dream to reality. Now, let's round up some truly great investors!

  114. For a person who hosts the most popular travel show on TV, you’d think he would encourage people to get on a plane to find authenticity. As hard as he tries, he can't recreate the sensation of traveling across the world for that perfect bowl of ramen in Tokyo. The people and surroundings in Tokyo make the food ever better.

  115. Are you going to stop by Tokyo when you have a craving for ramen after work?

  116. True, but I am not getting to Tokyo this year.

  117. I cannot wait to go

  118. I live in the Seattle area and love our Pike Place Market! You naysayers, back off. Like someone said, "If anyone can get it right Anthony can." The costs of the real food you can buy in Seattle is in direct proportion to it's freshness and availability. I can do that and so can you. This market will be an experience, much like Pike Place, but sounds like it will have even more good food. Give it a chance, you won't be sorry.

  119. As someone who's traveled to many of the places that Bourdain aspires to bring to NYC with this market, I think the CONCEPT is a good one. The proof of the pudding will be in the DETAILS and EXECUTION. Hong Kong, perhaps the city with the quintessential night food market, is in a lower income section of town and is made of, mostly, of working-class locals and lower-spending tourists. It's a great place, to be sure, but it's NOT "Manhattan". I just wonder, what with the cost of rent and other expenses that this mega-venture will entail if I'm still going to be able to get my $1 stick of fish balls. It's the crazy frenetic atmosphere that's as much a draw to Asian markets as is the food and I'm skeptical that this can be recreated on the west side of Manhattan. Still, I wish him luck and will be awaiting the market's arrival and will be sure to give it a try once it's ready to go.

  120. Yah will the hard working classes stop by to grab a quick meal on the way home to their 10fh floor walk-up studio digs they don't cook in cos of the roaches? I think not ...

  121. I can't wait!

    Going to Queens is a great idea, if you have plenty of time to burn. I live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan; no car, I travel by subways only. The Bourdain Food Market will be much more convenient for me.

  122. "Going to Queens is a great idea, if you have plenty of time to burn."

    ...or if you already live in Queens or certain parts of Manhattan.

  123. This may also resemble the Granville Island Market area in Vancouver. If so it will be a great destination for residents and visitors for food shopping and eating. And I believe Pier 40 is close to the newly relocated and now opened Whitney American Art Museum.
    Another plus for the area and for visitors to the city.

  124. After living downtown since college (over 45 years), I realized there's really no need to go above 14th Street for good food. The westside? might as well be in Jersey. What could they possibly offer that I can't find downtown? Definitely not worth the schlep!

  125. It will be a "destination" I wish for . A brilliant tourist magnet for all the right reasons. Diversity that could only be matched by walking around the city itself. Thank God people still think this big.

  126. By the time the Health Department has had their way with the "Singapore-style hawker market" vendors they will be as sanitized as Times Square. If you are looking for authenticity, head to Queens or better yet save your pennies and experience the food at the source.

  127. Actually Singapore has its own very stringent Health Dept and strict hygiene regulations. That's a big part of what makes the hawkers markets better than others in Asia. I've eaten any number of weird and wonderful things in Singapore and never gotten sick. Great food and hygiene can coexist.

  128. I read this ... and I long for Manhattan even more strongly. Greatest city on the planet. Period.

  129. Wow. I love Mr. Bourdain. Love his shows and his writing. But I doubt that I'm the only one who would like a hole-in-the-wall in Queens followed by saving up for my own once-in-a-lifetime trip to Asia instead of hanging out in a vast, architect-designed, investor-funded, Disney World of food. This one feels a bit like it could be his Waterloo. Or Weylu's. (a bit of Boston area restaurant/folly reference there. Look it up)

  130. food
    "The Musical"

  131. New York absolutely needs something like this. We have too many sterile places with mediocre food that cater to expense account types. And while places like Chinatown are not dead yet, the masters of the universe do not seem to want to let us paeans have so much as one tiny little smidgeon of good ole grungy dirty new York.

    I lived in Philadelphia for 13 years and fell in love with the Reading Terminal market and have lamented not having anything remotely close here. I can't wait for this place to open so I can try all kinds of different things in one space.

    Hey Tony, if you are listening. If you can get a DeNics Roast Pork sandwich with Broccoli Rabe here in NY, it would be like the second coming.

  132. I'm all for street food, but I personally found Reading Terminal to feel rather 'gross' and seriously questioned the food quality and cleanliness. And it had nothing to do with it not being of a 'Smorgasburg' caliber. There was just something about Reading Terminal that turned me off. Reminded me of the old days of 'Haymarket' in Boston (which had a similar kind of gross feeling about it). Perhaps it was the lack of true down-home cooking love and warmth that I didn't feel coming across to me, versus simpler food carts where you can really feel the love or character from the vendor. The vendors in Reading Terminal felt like seedy business sharks or something. And so that, combined with the lack of cleanliness, turned me off.

  133. Sound like another TV show attempting to recreate an authentic experience. Can't be done, although it is sure to be one as a packaged tourist destination.

  134. I don't see the point of having this sort of place on the edge of Manhattan, as opposed to something centrally located. And crossing the Westside Highway by foot is like running a gauntlet. This decontextualized place is probably geared toward the tourists coming off the High Line.

  135. If it gets built....and if it draws big crowds....either locals or tourists.....we will cross that bridge when we come to it. In other words if the highway is deemed unsafe to cross, an over bridge can be built to safely get folks from one side of the street to the other. Said over bridge can be easily wheelchair accessible, with elevators. Maybe we can go all Vegas and have moving roadways. Thousands of folks make it to the Intrepid and the Circle Line everyday across the former West Side Highway. A few lanes of traffic will never get between a New Yorker and a good nosh.

  136. Recently, I watched Anthony Bourdain eating some wonderful dishes while visiting the island of Jamaica. It made me want to return to that beautiful island just for its local cuisine. As a world traveler, I am very excited about this venture which shall make so many dishes available in our neighborhood.

  137. The consensus seems to be that Queens offers all that is authentic and similar to what is available elsewhere. Maybe for certain cultures that's true, but certainly not for Indian street food. I have been to Edison in NJ and Jackson Heights in Queens, and of course Curry Hill in Manhattan - None compare. Why?

    I can only hazard a guess - that US. immigration policy favors either the skilled immigrant, or the high level entrepreneur or family migration on a legal basis, and the illegal immigrants from Asia tend to be those who can sell some land to pay the networks to get in. Whereas, the best street stalls in India are run by those who have typically been doing it for a couple of generations and are more like small business folks who dont really align with any of the categories. I am sure one could poke holes in my theory.

    But end of the day, I would look forward to some authentic Indian gol gappas, Amrtisari fish and sigri grilled kababs and roomali rotis and all the other street food not available at Tabla or the Jackson Heights diner.

  138. As an Indian-American I can say that right now getting really good Indian food in the Edison/Iselin area is a challenge, in Queens it's very difficult, and in the "Curry Hill" section of Manhattan it's probably impossible. Just because their is a high concentration of Indian businesses in a particular area doesn't necessarily mean you can obtain really good Indian food in that particular place. No such rule is applies. I don't think the U.S. attracts the kind of Indians who have what it takes to run an outstanding Indian food establishment.

  139. As others have mentioned, there certainly is some question about who the patrons will be and what the price points will be. But who can't appreciate the convenience of a centralized site, as Tony Bourdain envisions, especially one with both a bonanza of exotic ingredients and an international variety of prepared foods. (Sounds like a global version of Eataly.)

    On his TV shows, Mr. Bourdain can be seen hanging out with "the little people," eating and drinking the real thing. He spares us the pretense of white tablecloths, smarmy waiters and the nouveau-riche know-it-alls at the next table. Let's hope what materializes is true to that spirit. I'll be visiting to check it out.

    Good luck, Tony!

  140. Wishing Tony and his investors the best in their vision. An interesting concept in which I hope they can pull off accurately. When one can't be out traveling the world, it's great in America because the entire world does comes to us. Maybe this can financially help recent immigrants so that they can have a place to showcase their talents. Even if they've already got a place in Queens they can expand their market here. Not everyone has the time to chase around food stalls/trucks and small ethnic places. Nice to have it all in one place. And what better city to do it in.

  141. When Mr. Bourdain speaks of authenticity, he's only referring to the food itself, being he's attempting to import the actual cooks (and I'm guessing the ingredients they use in them?). You can't replicate the feel of a foreign night market on a pier in New York, since it won't be the locals from the various countries inhabiting the market. And can they also replicate the prices for these eats? That's highly doubtful. I'm a fan of Bourdain's shows (I sit and take notes for my own future travels), and I get what he's TRYING to do. I look forward to this opening, and sampling some of the foods he's raved about on his shows, but I don't expect it to cost the same as it would in the home countries of the cooks who are making it.

  142. Call me skeptical. It isn't that Mr. Bourdain's concept is a bad one, but the open secret of the Asian markets he wants to emulate is huge traffic flow in and around such markets, and cheap eats. Unless his Queens location has such traffic flows for other reasons already, I can't see this becoming much more than a somewhat more organically based strip mall for cheap food. When the pre-existing, chain franchises start clamoring to get in, you will know his base plan is dead in the water. Jamba Juice, anyone? It's "all natural" and loaded with sugar, too.

  143. This isn't in Queens. It's in an area of Manhattan that is rapidly gaining foot traffic due to the High Line and Whitney Museum.

  144. "at the edge of the meatpacking district."

    That's rich.

  145. If anyone can do this the right way, AB can. This guy just has the right idea about what food is . . . in an essential and primordial way . . . and the testicular fortitude to try to do it the way he understands it in his gut. In the end, at least for some of us commoners, it's about looking across the table at a friend or loved one, wiping your glistening lips and grinning, "Christ, that was delicious!!!" like you just won $50,000 in the lotto.

    I'll never forget my grown son looking across the table from me at my parent's table with a near beautific look on his face. "Everything OK?" I asked. He looked me straight in the eye and said with conviction, "That was a great bite of food." I think we were eating my mother's home-made ravioli, but it could have been any number of things. I just smiled broadly and nodded and keep on eating.

    Food is the universal language of humans. You want to get to know someone from a different culture, have dinner with them. Suddenly, they're not so different seeming as they were.

    NB: The second universal language is complaining about one's wife. I can't remember how many times I have shared very little in the way of language with the guy sitting next to me at the bar and the conversation has somehow gotten around to, "She's crazy! I can't figure her out! They're all crazy! Except my mom. But don't talk to my father about that."

  146. If anyone can imbue the project with a controlled chaos and raucous good vibe it's Bourdain. What an interesting, expansive man.

    But I worry about a guy who gets little sleep and eats anything with such abandon.
    Watch your health Anthony, we want you around a long time!

  147. Dang! I can't believe how many people two years out are jumping on Mr. Bordain like chicken on a June bug.

    Give the guy a break. Let him try what no one else seems to be interested in doing.

  148. I am looking forward to their plan for managing the flow of people given that within a 3 or so block radius you have the start/end of the High Line, Chelsea Market and The Whitney Museum and that locals or tourists will have to cross the West Side Highway to get to the market. Great idea otherwise.

  149. While Bourdain is clearly the star, a recommendation to keep Pier 57 (Market) as the name, giving it the immediacy and ambiance that Bourdain (and others) are seeking.....

  150. Why write gibberish on the artist's rendering in psudo-Chinese? More laziness than ignorance in my opinion.

  151. Artist's renderings of this sort often use gibberish in place of real signs in general, in whatever language. The vendors haven't been selected yet.

    Those aren't real people sitting at the bar, either.

  152. Most artists renderings I've seen just put in blurry lines for text, not distracting strings of words like "hit half rice tree."

  153. Tony has definitely made the food scene more interesting - beginning with Kitchen Confidential. Such a fascinating look at what goes on behind the scene.

    Back then I thought of him as a real chef/cook, who had sort of taken up writing as a second occupation. A way to earn a little extra bread.

    But now it's pretty clear that he's no longer cooking and has joined the ranks of entertainers plying their goods to a willing, and maybe gullible, public. It's kind of disappointing.

    Tony, just in case you're reading this, back in the days of Egullet I asked you how you stayed so skinny while eating so much, and you replied that three packs a day did the trick. But I think I read that you'd quit smoking after having a kid - and you're still skinny.

    How do you do it?

  154. ANOTHER over-priced tourist trap?

  155. I believe it will be. I think it will be another Eataly.

  156. The Fitzcarraldo of the food world.

  157. "peripatetic culinary traveler" is linguistically redundant.

  158. and your comment is perfectly persnickety.

  159. No it's not.

  160. No. "Peripatetic" just puts a fine point on the type of travel he did.

  161. Totally awesome, dude! I mean we can all go, queue up, and take videos of one another there.

    This orchestrated event is one I will have to miss. I prefer a more intimate food encounter that is private, quiet and unknown to the masses.

    Most offensive is that it will attempt to replicate the cheap, plebian street food of the world but at much higher cost.

    Everyone knows that already.

  162. Give the man a least we can if he will be true to his words. If he can duplicate the street vendors with street vendor food and prices for the bulk of what he is proposing, it can't hurt. And yes, we can still partake of the same in the neighborhoods. There is enough for everyones tastes here.

  163. 18th paragraph c/agrrement/agreement

    Curious that the article makes no mention or reference to Chelsea Market, little more than an avenue away, nor that Google has signed a lease to be the primary office tenant in the space above the Pier 57 market.

    Agree with other commenters, the Pier 57 plan seems to expect a large flow of customers to walk across the West Side Highway. Unless NYC DOT has some sort of magic plan to make it easier for pedestrians to cross here I don't see that happening. Drivers feel entitled to zoom off W15th through the crosswalks with not much more than a disdainful glance at the people meekly trying to walk across.

  164. Well, perhaps there will be a need for another pedestrian bridge.

    There are such footbridges at Chambers Street, so the Stuyvesant High School students don't need to cross the highway at grade level, and another by the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum at West 46th Street.



  165. In other words, like the Ferry Building in SF.

  166. My stomach just groaned in hunger at the thought of this market.

  167. I love Bourdain and his awkward cynicism. Some of what he says on No Reservations/Parts Unknown can be cheesy, but seemingly genuine. This is definitely a unique idea, as opposed to Guy Fieri's atrocious, main-stream touristy restaurant. I really believe Bourdain recognizes the importance of not only originality, but affordability. This idea highlights his appreciation of quality, unique food. Hopefully, the place becomes as iconic as Quincy Market in Boston, but much cheaper.
    Good luck Bourdain, you have a guaranteed customer right here.

  168. Cut with the Quibbles, it's a magnificent idea worthy of Cyrano, and no matter what happens, this fusion will be better than what you got now. Every great city should have one -- but oh, Seattle's Pike Place Market is too small, too cliched, too impossible to get to because of gridlock, to serve as a model. "You've got to open it up," Alice would say, throwing up her hands in all directions in a gesture that resembled tossing away money." (about Alice) Hope the mayor gives it a big green light. I can't wait to visit and eat.

  169. Far from bein a cliched tourist draw, Seattle's Pike Place is a wonderful working market. And since it's easily accessible by bus, bicycle or even boat, there's no need to endure gridlock to get there. The point is that it developed organically, like the other city markets mentioned, rather than being the concept of any one individual. And while the "Orientalism" theory holds no water for me, I do wonder about the possible impact on the large number of people will move to New York to staff Bourdain's market. It can be very unsettling to be uprooted in such a way, and I hope the organizers are giving sufficient thought to that problem.

  170. No thanks. As a self-righteous, sanctimonious, holier-than-thou vegan, I'd just as soon visit a slaughterhouse as a Bourdainian flesh and death market.

  171. Trip to New York when Bourdain's place opens up is on the books!!! My sister lived in Singapore for over 16 years and it was very sad to see the city change and remove a lot of what made it so amazing when she first lived there. The wet markets, the riksha's, the torn down and renovated shophouses, the orchard trees that were torn down while orchard street was more modernized; everything that the tourist was looking for is no longer there. It's nice to see that Bourdain has the vision to bring it all back here with vendors to boot! Maybe this is how to get the other countries to retreat back to what made them so great?? It would have to take a hero like Bourdain to whip this up! Who on earth but him would have the endeavor; such "huevos???" Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  172. Parts Unknown is a great TV food travel show and the segment on Tangier was absolutely psychedelic. Good luck to AB. NYC gets all the good stuff.

  173. If they can get an L train stop under the market, I might go there.

  174. It will be the first Asian night market in the world where there are no Asians that live in the area and is really expensive! A winning combo if I have ever heard one

  175. Hurry up and open!!!!

  176. I absolutely love the Pike Place Market in Seattle, and I'd love for New York to have something like that. The only problem I have is that I'll probably be retired by then, and the cost of living in New York City is just too expensive! All the best Tony. I wish you well in another great adventure.

  177. I am going to rent the closest hovel I can afford! Every time I watch one of his shows I think about what is available in much of the the U.S. and want to cry. Yeah!!!!!

  178. Build it and they will come. Hopefully me too!

  179. Sounds epic. There is an electricity and vibe to a good food market that is absent in modern day America. I'll be at Bourdain Market the first day it opens.

  180. Bourdain is a Jersey guy, and Jersey guy's love Mall's.
    Here in NYC we despise them (Mall's not Jersey guys).

    The ideal of the place sounds amazing, but with so much money involved and so much risk; I'm worried this "Blade Runner" like establishment could turn into something similar to the South Street Seaport of the 90's or Time Square today, a place that NY'ers do not step foot in, and that Tourists cannot get enough of.

  181. But there is something like that: Exssex market (albeit on a micro scale or, more horribly, Smorgesburg. BUT at least in the antecedent of smorgesburg - it's not truly ethnic. It's all borrowed. [Essex market is the shizz.]
    To me the question is. and the integrity is. it authentic?
    Can it remain authentic for any real amount of time?

    I think it has to continually flow, updated every few months or it become stale.

  182. Sounds wonderful!!
    Lots of flowers, please!

  183. To those harping about potential "high" prices: So a stick of meat might cost $9 instead of $2? O.K. ... have you priced a flight to Singapore lately?

  184. I admire Anthony for putting it all on the line- Its a big gamble. But everyone knows if you want to win big- you gotta bet big!

  185. What if an essential element of his favorite street foods is the fact that they are rooted in their own culture and community, with access to local ingredients? How can he replicate that? I get the vision. Does Tony think that the street food experience can simply be transported to this market space in New York and still taste or feel the same as it does in the streets of Hanoi, Ensenada, Barcelona?

  186. He's incredibly well-traveled and knowledgeable. I am sure he is fully aware of the limitations. That doesn't mean this isn't still a fun, interesting and deeply satisfying experience. After all, it's the closest to a replication - what are you gonna do, fly to Vietnam every time you want a good bowl of pho?